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I'm in the process of putting up a new site in the health and beauty sector. I've written about 100 pages of content to get me started.
What should my linking strategy be? What is most important for a newbie with a new site, links for traffic or PR?
Which of the following would be best in order of importance:
Exchanging links with related sites
Buying lots of one way links with low PR
Buying a few one way links with higher PR
Just waiting and hoping my growing content will get me one way natural links over time
Thanks for any advice
If you've got the budget for paid links go for the ones that are most on-topic, will give you in-line links, from sites that will drive real traffic as well as some SEO benefit.
Unless your content is exceptional, waiting for one-way links can be frustrating....
But you could argue that if your content isn't exceptional, stands out from the crowd and makes people go "wow" you should be spending your time and money on that, because superb content is what works long-term, white-hat wise...
My 0.02 worth: Exchange links with related sites. Submit to DMOZ. Buy a directory listing at BOTW. When you have the money, perhaps a directory listing at Yahoo's directory as well.
Insomniak - How do you find the free directories for your niche? If I google different combinations of keywords like "widget" and "submit URL" or "widget" and "submit link", I can usually find some places to get my site listed (after doing some investigative work to see if it is a quality site or not).
Can someone suggest some quality directories that I should submit my site to? Does a list exist?
Organic links will come if your content is good, but for that to happen you need some traffic in the first place. Some well-crafted paid advertising can help with that.
As for your linking strategy, my advice would be to focus most on building links that would send targeted traffic. Those will generally be the ones that send the best "signals of relevance" to the search engines.
I would recommend looking through the sites that are currently ranking for your top keywords and see what kinds of links they have. Then I'd look to see how easy they are to replicate, and start brainstorming some ideas of how you get links from those top sites.
You will fare better in the long run if you approach link building not from a typical SEO/PageRank perspective but from a more traditional 'getting my message out to my target audience' perspective. Go to sites where most of your audience would visit and try to either buy an ad on there or see what type of sites they link out to and why. The most valuable thing (IMO) you can do just starting out to get ranked quickly is let Google know which communities and/or neighborhoods your site belongs to by getting links from those sites. Anybody with a $300 marketing budget could get 2-4 general 'authority' directory listings which still don't tell Google very much about the site, except a very high level category classification. If you're going the directory route, I'd look for more targeted or local niche directories which give Google a better idea about your site. Keep in mind with any directory you should look at the other sites listed and make sure you'd want your site to be mentioned alongside them (ie no spammy listings). The value of a link is directly proportional to the amount of effort required to get it. Put in the work now, reap dividends later.
Over time the main goal is to get lots of targeted traffic to your site in the hopes that they become customers/subscribers/ad-clickers. If you can use this time at the beginning to build up other traffic streams and get targeted visitors to your site the more likely they are to give you topical links and the less you have to rely on Google for your traffic/profits.
You will fare better in the long run if you approach link building not from a typical SEO/PageRank perspective but from a more traditional 'getting my message out to my target audience' perspective.
Exactly, you should think of link building as a marketing effort for your site. If you have valuable content and spend your time letting people know about it the links will come.